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Colibri Summary
Martín Espada

Everything you need to understand or teach Colibri by Martín Espada.

  • Colibri Summary & Study Guide

Colibri Summary


"Colibrí" first appeared in the Americas Review and is included in Martín Espada's bilingual second collection Rebellion Is the Circle of a Lover's Hands, published in 1990. Espada won the 1989 PEN/Revson Award and the Paterson Poetry Prize for the book. Like his other collections, Rebellion Is the Circle of a Lover's Hands gives voice to oppressed peoples, particularly Latinos, and demonstrates a historical awareness of the roots of oppression. Written in four short free-verse stanzas, "Colibrí," which means hummingbird, addresses the colonization by the Spanish of the Taino, the native people who inhabit what is now called Puerto Rico. Setting the poem in Jayuya, a city founded in 1883 and the place of a 1950 uprising, Espada uses crisp imagery and an extended metaphor to connect past to present and to evoke sympathy for the Taino. Espada's father is Puerto Rican and many of his poems address...

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